Porterdale swears in new chief

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

PORTERDALE -- The city's new police chief was sworn in at City Hall on Tuesday morning and began his official duties immediately afterward.

Chief Geoffery Jacobs, 57, was introduced to City Council members at the regular council meeting Monday night.

"I want to say that it's an honor for me to be in this community, and I thank you for letting me into your family," Jacobs told the council members.

Jacobs, who was selected from a field of 17 applicants for the position, will earn an annual salary of $43,000. He most recently served as captain of the Uniform Division of the Snellville Police Department before retiring in August.

"I had really intended to take six months to a year off before coming back to work, but I saw the ad for Porterdale and I debated on it for quite a while," Jacobs said Tuesday afternoon. "That gave me time to check around to see what kind of town Porterdale was and what kind of police department they have. And I decided it was probably perfect for me."

Porterdale City Manager Bob Thomson said Jacobs was selected following panel interviews of seven of the applicants. The interviews were conducted by Thomson, Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton and Oxford Police Chief Clark Miller.

Jacobs, who lives in Walton County, worked in various capacities for the Snellville Police Department for nearly six years. He also worked as a uniform patrol officer for the Lawrenceville Police Department. His other experience includes uniform park ranger for the Palm Beach County Park Police in Lake Worth, Fla., uniform patrol officer and detective for the Opa Locka Police Department in Opa Locka, Fla., and correctional officer for the Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department in Miami. Jacobs is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. He served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1989 to 1997.

Jacobs said he intends to have an impact on the drug problem in Porterdale and plans to reactivate the city's drug task force and coordinate with other area agencies to address the problem.

"I think that was one of the main concerns of the council and the city manager and the mayor," he said.

In addition, he said there will be some housekeeping done within the department itself to make operations more efficient and professional.

"There are a number of things that need to happen here, and I'm a job-oriented, goal-driven person," Jacobs said. "I've had a lot of experience with that and with instituting programs that we are going to have to get accomplished here. And I know a lot about management."

Jacobs is married and has two daughters and four grandchildren. He described himself as a musician, avid surfer and physical fitness buff.

Jacobs succeeds former Chief Wayne Digby, who resigned effective Oct. 15 citing issues with an employment contract offered by the city.